C365 Player of the week: Double Whammy

England

Last week, Kumar Sangakkara was our player of the week, after scoring a double ton. Then Rangana Herath took nine wickets in one innings in Colombo, and now we're stuck with giving our gong to a Sri Lankan two weeks in a row.

Oh, this is tricky. Last week, Kumar Sangakkara was our player of the week, after scoring a double ton. Then Rangana Herath took nine wickets in one innings in Colombo, and now we're stuck with giving our gong to a Sri Lankan two weeks in a row. This is not to be borne.

As such, we'll compromise and share it with England batsman Joe Root, who scored an ODI-style century against India at The Oval, and while India's batsmen did the job of winning it for England, Root's knock was great fun to watch.

Herath though. If we're honest, Pakistan were pretty abject with the bat, but the 36-year-old bank clerk made them look utterly inept against spin, with only Dilruwan Perera breaking his monopoly by selfishly removing Ahmed Shehzad.

The second innings saw the portly tweaker add five more wickets to record the 21st best match figures in Test history (14/184), and the best since Harbhajan Singh's 15 in 2001. Herath's nine in the first innings was also the best since Murali recorded the same in 2002.

Hilariously, he ended the two-match series with 23 wickets, while no-one else got into double figures. While one cannot compare Pakistan to the Proteas, it must be pointed out that at the same ground Herath took nine wickets against SA but the game was drawn.

As for Rooty, his knock was given the freedom it had by the fact that India were so utterly crap that they were all out for 148 and then 94, so there was zero pressure on him. England were already leading the series, and his attitude reflected that.

He ended as the series' top run-getter, averaging more than 100 and one of only two players to pass 500 runs. His 149 not out was characterised by innovative strokes mixed with lovely technique, and he needed only 165 deliveries.

Honourable mention must also go to South Africa's Hashim Amla, who scored 122 not out in the first ODI against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo. While the bowling was not something to trouble the bearded maestro, he still played some cracking shots, including three sixes.

<b>Lindsay du Plessis</b>

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